House of Representatives Committees

| Parliamentary Joint Committee on Public Works

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Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1                   Under the Public Works Committee Act 1969 (the Act), the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works is required to inquire into and report on public works referred to it through either house of Parliament. Referrals are generally made by the Special Minister of State.

1.2                   All public works that have an estimated cost exceeding $15 million must be referred to the Committee and cannot be commenced until the Committee has made its report to Parliament and the House of Representatives receives that report and resolves that it is expedient to carry out the work.[1]

1.3                   Under the Act, a public work is a work proposed to be undertaken by the Commonwealth, or on behalf of the Commonwealth concerning:

1.4                   The Act requires that the Committee consider and report on:

1.5                   The Committee pays attention to these and any other relevant factors when considering the proposed work.

Structure of the report

1.6                   Works considered in this report were referred to the Committee in May, June and September 2012. The works were referred by the Special Minister of State, the Hon Gary Gray AO MP.

1.7                   In considering the works, the Committee analysed the evidence presented by the proponent agency, public submissions and evidence received at public and in-camera hearings.

1.8                   In consideration of the need to report expeditiously as required by Section 17(1) of the Act, the Committee has only reported on major issues of concern.

1.9                   The Committee appreciates, and fully considers, the input of the community to its inquiries. Those interested in the proposals considered in this report are encouraged to access the full inquiry proceedings available on the Committee’s website.

1.10               Chapter 2 addresses the proposed new National Archives Preservation Facility and refurbishment of the existing Mitchell facility for the National Archives of Australia at Mitchell, ACT. The Committee did not consider the Mitchell refurbishment as the referral was premature. The NAPF portion of the project is estimated to cost $97.9 million.

1.11               Chapter 3 addresses the proposed Defence Logistics Transformation Program. The project is estimated to cost $752.7 million, excluding GST.

1.12               Chapter 4 addresses two similar referrals. The first is the proposed upgrade of on-base housing for Defence at Larrakeyah Barracks, Darwin, Northern Territory. The project is estimated to cost $25 million, including GST. The second referral is the proposed upgrade of on-base housing for Defence at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory. The project is estimated to cost $57 million, including GST.

1.13               Submissions are listed at Appendix A, and inspections, hearings and witnesses are listed at Appendix B.